Patrick Grant (rosarian)

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'Midnight Sun', Grant 1921, a deep red, black-tinged, scented hybrid tea. In the Nieuwesteeg Heritage Rose Garden at Bacchus Marsh, Victoria.

Patrick Grant (1860–1945) was a Scottish-born Australian rose breeder. Two of his roses were world-famous at his death, though to some extent superseded since.


Patrick Grant was born in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1860. He was the son of a stonemason and trained as a wheelwright. He migrated to New South Wales in 1885 and worked for 20 years as a building contractor. As a dairy farmer on virgin land at Nambucca River, Macksville on the north coast of New South Wales he developed a famous herd of Ayreshires. He and his wife Beatrice had eight children, six of whom worked as adults on their 400-acre farm.[1][2] He thus appears as a successful small landholder, quite different from the members of the landed elite like Alister Clark and Olive Fitzhardinge who were the best known rose breeders of the time.[3]

At the end of the nineteenth century, he sat on the North Sydney council. He was president of the Primary Producers Union 1904–1934.[4] He was president of the National Rose Society of NSW 1929–1931 and stayed on the committee till 1943. The Society's championship cup for a rose exhibit is called the Patrick Grant Cup.[5]

He also had a Sydney North Shore address at 26 Clanwilliam Street, Chatswood from 1927 at least,[6] perhaps with the third of an acre behind the house now devoted to tennis courts. Alister Clark visited his and other Sydney rose breeders' gardens in 1928, so Grant must have had roses growing there.[7] Grant was 61 when his first rose was released, so it is possible all three roses he released were bred in retirement at Chatswood.


The readers' survey by the Melbourne Argus for 1937 showed Grant's 'Golden Dawn' to be in the most popular ten garden roses.[8] When he died on 28 September 1945[1] the Sydney Morning Herald said he had been one of the two leading rose breeders in Australia. It particularly praised Mr Grant's 'Golden Dawn' as possibly the finest of all yellow roses, and his 'Salmon Spray' as in world class among "cluster roses."[9]

The fifth edition of A.S. Thomas's Better Roses of 1969[10] gives his list of the 80 finest roses bred by then in Australia or New Zealand. Both 'Golden Dawn' and 'Salmon Spray' are on it.[11]

'Golden Dawn'[12] (released 1929) is still on sale in Australia, Europe and North America. It is a pale yellow hybrid tea similar to 'Peace',[13] which supplanted it on nursery lists but which is not entirely a better rose.[14][15] 'Salmon Spray'[16] (1923) seems only to be available in North America. 'Salmon Spray' is a salmon pink floribunda. 'Midnight Sun'[17] (1921), a red–black hybrid tea, can be seen in the Nieuwesteeg Heritage Rose Garden at Bacchus Marsh in Victoria.


  1. ^ a b NSW death certificate 1945/015836
  2. ^ "A Family Affair". The Examiner. Launceston, Tas.: National Library of Australia. 27 October 1928. p. 5 Edition: DAILY. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  3. ^ Macintyre, Stuart (1986). The Oxford history of Australia, Vol. IV (Repr. ed.). Melbourne: Oxford University Press. pp. 55–57. ISBN 0195546121. 
  4. ^ "PRIMARY PRODUCERS' UNION". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 15 March 1933. p. 11. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Judith Oyston, forthcoming history of the National Rose Society of NSW.
  6. ^ Sydney phone directory entry
  7. ^ Clark, Alister (1929). Australian Rose Annual: 48.  Missing or empty |title= (help); Clark describes a visit to the gardens of Sydney rose breeders, including that of Grant.
  8. ^ "Constant Search for the Perfect Rose". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 28 March 1939. p. 12. Retrieved 20 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "The Creator of "Golden Dawn" Is Dead". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 24 October 1945. p. 2. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  10. ^ Thomas, A.S. (1969). Better Roses. Sydney: Angus and Robertson. pp. 90–91. 
  11. ^ "Patrick Grant rose breeder". Help Me Find Roses. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  12. ^ "Golden Dawn". Help Me Find Roses. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  13. ^ "Peace". Help Me Find Roses. Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  14. ^ Botanica's roses : encyclopedia of roses. Milsons Point, N.S.W.: Random House Australia. 1998. pp. 277–8. ISBN 0091835925. 
  15. ^ Harkness, Jack (1978). Roses. London: J.M. Dent. p. 86. ISBN 0460043285. 
  16. ^ "Salmon Spray". Help Me Find Roses. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  17. ^ "Midnight Sun". Help Me Find Roses. Retrieved 9 June 2013.